Biblia Americana 978-3-16-154266-4 - Mohr Siebeck
Theology

Cotton Mather

Biblia Americana

America's First Bible Commentary. A Synoptic Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. Volume 5: Proverbs – Jeremiah
Ed. by Jan Stievermann. Associate Editors: Paul S. Peterson, Michael Dopffel. Editorial Assistants: Helen K. Gelinas, Angelika Nemec

[Biblia Americana. Der älteste amerikanische Bibelkommentar. Band 5: Buch der Sprüche – Jeremia.]

2015. XVIII, 1101 pages.
179,00 €
cloth
ISBN 978-3-16-154266-4
available
Published in English.
Cotton Mather's commentaries on Proverbs through Jeremiah are a treasure trove for scholars interested in the development of Protestant thought during the period of the early Enlightenment. The volume shows the struggle of exegetes in Mather's generation to adjust traditional interpretations of the Old Testament to a growing awareness of the historicity of the Scriptures.
This volume of the Biblia Americana contains Cotton Mather's annotations on the books of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Canticles, Jeremiah, and Isaiah. A mixture of historical-textual criticism and pious explications, the commentaries are a treasure trove for scholars interested in the development of Reformed theology and biblical interpretation during a decisive period of intellectual change in the early modern Atlantic world. Mather, an apologetically oriented, pastoral yet deeply learned exegete, confronts the early Enlightenment challenges to the Bible's authority. He engages with issues of translation and the difficult questions about authorship, provenance, and genre being asked in his day, especially about the three books traditionally ascribed to King Solomon. Who wrote Proverbs and Ecclesiastes? How can the worldly wisdom of these books be reconciled with the Christian gospel? Is Canticles only a royal wedding song celebrating human love? In turn, the annotations on Isaiah and Jeremiah are crucially concerned with the relevance and evidential value of the Hebrew prophets for the claims of Christian theology. If seen in their original contexts, in what ways can the oracles of Isaiah and Jeremiah be understood to speak of Christ, the gospel and the second coming? The volume shows the struggle of exegetes in Mather's generation to adjust traditional interpretations of the Old Testament to a growing awareness of the Scriptures' historicity. The annotations shift between detailed attention to this historical dimension of the texts and typological and allegorical readings. Moreover, many of the entries reveal a new “Baconian” concern with demonstrating the factual realism of the scriptural narratives by recourse to empirical evidence and the natural sciences.
Authors/Editors

Cotton Mather (1663–1728) The leading New England theologian of his period, Mather was both a defender of Reformed orthodoxy and an intellectual innovator, who propagated the Pietist renewal of Protestantism and embraced ideas of the early Enlightenment. Best known for his Magnalia Christi Americana (1702), he published more than 400 works in various fields including church history, natural theology, and medicine.

Jan Stievermann Born 1975; 2005 Ph.D in American Studies from the University of Tübingen; since 2011 Professor for the History of Christianity in the U.S. at the Ruprechts-Karls-University Heidelberg.

Paul Silas Peterson Born 1979; theological studies in Portland, Edinburgh and Tübingen; Privatdozent Dr. theol., Protestant Faculty of Theology of the University of Tübingen.

Michael Dopffel No biographic information available.

Helen K. Gelinas No biographic information available.

Angelika Nemec No biographic information available.

Reviews

The following reviews are known:

In: Journal for the Study of the OT — 41.5 (2017) (Anselm C. Hagedorn)
In: http://jecteds.org — http://jecteds.org/blog/tag/mohr-siebeck/ (4/2016) (Douglas Sweeney)
In: Theologische Literaturzeitung — 141 (2016), S. 1064–1068 (Markus Wriedt)
In: Early American Literature — 52 (2017), S. 423–441 (Abram van Engen)